I love talking to BJJ entrepreneurs who are able to combine their passion for the gentle art with business to build a great service for the BJJ community while having a very fulfilling and rewarding career. In the latest edition of the Jiu-Jitsu Times Podcast, I talked to David Aguzzi, who is the President and founder of Grappling Industries. Founded in 2011, Grappling Industries has grown from a regional BJJ tournament promotion based in Montreal, Quebec to running over 20 events in Canada, The United States, and Australia in 2016. When I first learned of Grappling Industries from friends who trained in Toronto, they raved about the value, round-robin format, and customer service the promotion provided to its competitors. Unlike many other promotions, Grappling Industries offers a round-robin format to ensure competitors get 3 to 4 matches at the event and also awards cash prizes to the open weight division championships at all belt levels, including white belt. David prides himself on providing a great experience for his competitors and sponsors by producing a high quality, value filled experiences at his tournaments. A great example is the recording and uploading of every match at the event to Youtube.
In our conversation David and I discussed many topics on BJJ, business, and entrepreneurship including
- How he started Grappling Industries
- Global expansion and scaling the operations.
- How he finds opportunities in the marketplace such as Australian expansion.
- Growing the promotion in the United States by launching an event in New York City on March 12th.
- How he markets and promotes events
- Finding and servicing sponsors in BJJ
- Coordinating a super fight between Eddie Cummings and Mansher Khera.
- Also, discussing why he dislikes Ralek Gracie’s business practices.